Self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice are the sine-qua-non of the way to The Way. Sitting in the silence for twenty minutes at least once a day. Practicing being open to and aware of the present moment (And watching all of the Jon Kabat-Zinn Youtube videos (The shortest ones first) to prepare yourself for the practice). Reading the moment and your response to it, moment-by-moment in each situation as it arises. Being aware of what is going on. Knowing what you know. Feeling what you feel. Seeing what you look at. Hearing what is being said, including what you are saying. Saying what needs to be said. Asking all of the questions that beg to be asked. Allowing your natural nature to lead the way-- without contrivance, or concern with advantage/gain/benefit/profit. Living with sincerity and spontaneity. Living with compassion and concern, and without judgment or opinion beyond knowing what is good and serving it in response to what is called for and is appropriate to the occasion, in doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, here and now forever. Requires/demands/necessitates self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, our entire life long.
"Know Thy Self," advised the Delphic Oracle. "To Thine Own Self Be True," said William Shakespeare. "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?" asked Jesus of Nazareth. "Exhibit the face that was yours before you were born!" declared both Taoism and Zen. Living aligned with and in service to our Original Nature-- being who we are naturally, spontaneously, sincerely-- without contrivance or avarice, or ulterior motives of any kind, has always been extolled and encouraged by those who were doing that themselves, throughout the ages. It is the ground and foundation of life lived in accord with and filial devotion and allegiance and liege loyalty to The Way at the Heart of Life and Being. It is never any more difficult than knowing what we know and doing what needs to be done about it in each situation as it arises throughout our life.
When we make peace with ourselves and our place in life, and each situation as it arises, here and now is always a good-enough place to be. And that is the still point, the Axis Mundi, the center around which the world and the cosmos turn. It is the fulcrum, the pivot point, levering the next moment, and the future, into place. It is not a physical place, but an attitudinal location, a point of view, a perspective that transforms existence, and positions us to receive well what comes our way, and in so doing, to transform it into an experience with amazement and wonder. All because of the way we look at things. That changes everything. Perspective transcends existence. And that makes all the difference.